Hurricane Dorian’s potential impact on geography of Bahamas

8 On Your Side

BAHAMAS (WFLA) – A powerful and slow-moving hurricane like Dorian can do major damage to beaches and land. Right now, a startling satellite image of the Bahamas is going viral.

The synthetic image shows part of the island submerged in water during the storm surge on Monday. The Finnish company behind this image, ICEYE, says the satellite image was taken using special technology.

8 On Your Side spoke with a geological oceanographer about the lasting potential impacts of Dorian on the geography of the islands.

“The beaches most likely are being destroyed,” said Dr. Albert Hine. “The worst-case scenario is a slow-moving hurricane.”

The storm surge and strong waves will remove sediments from the beach. However, Dr. Hine says the rocky islands underneath will stay intact.

“That won’t be significantly altered at all,” he said.

Hines says the islands are topographically low an can be completely submerged.

With Florida still in the midst of hurricane season, 8 On Your Side Investigates asked about the potential geological impact of a strong hurricane on our islands.

According to Dr. Hine, two-thirds of Florida’s coastline is made up of sandy barrier islands.

“Just about all the Pinellas County coastline is a barrier island system,” he said. “The barrier islands in Florida are entirely soft sediment and can be easily rearranged and removed.”

“It sounds like you’re saying we’re in some ways more susceptible?” asked investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi.

“Yes, I would think so to a rocky island.”

As of Tuesday, Dorian has finally moved past the Bahamas.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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